Homelessness is a major concern to those who live and work in downtown Salt Lake City, and that concern may be reaching the South City Campus.
The campus, located at 1575 South State Street, has become a hotspot for multiple panhandlers when the sun goes down.
“The safety of South City Campus students needs to become more of a priority,” says Connor Trautman, who takes night classes at South due to his work schedule. “The homeless people might not be such an issue during the day, but at night, it’s a bit sketchy walking by the school on State Street. I’ve been harassed more than a few times.”
A problem with homelessness
A recent poll published last week in the Salt Lake Tribune reported that 64 percent found homelessness downtown to be a major problem, 30 percent labeled it a minor problem and only 4 percent said it was no problem at all.
While panhandling may not be as widespread at Salt Lake Community College campuses, students have a right to feel safe on school grounds at all times.
Feeling nervous at night
SLCC sophomore Ali Farrow has mixed feelings about the issue.
“I feel like during the day is not really that bad at all, I feel perfectly safe. But I have a class that on Wednesdays, gets out after the sun goes down, and I really don’t like walking to my car by myself.
“I feel like there needs to be more of an effort to keep the panhandlers off the school’s property. If they’re across the street I feel a lot safer than when they are right in front of the doors on State Street.”
What students can do
Students may request a parking lot escort to help them get to their cars safely.
Concerns about safety on campus can be directed to Utah Highway Patrol. Their South City Campus office is across from the counselor’s office and in front of the snack bar in room 1-061A.
Additional photos by Sarah Jordan